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Booster: Attack Was ‘Cosmetic Surgery’

Posted May. 23, 2006 03:00,   


Roh Hye-kyung, leader of President Roh Moo-hyun’s supporters group, has been under criticism for her writings on opposition Grand National Party leader Park Geun-hye, who was assaulted on May 21. On the group’s website, she wrote, “Park seemed to have undergone cosmetic surgery as she had her face sutured with 60 stitches,” on which even the ruling Uri Party members criticized her remark for being irrational on the following day.

Seoul mayoral candidate Kang Kum-sil of the Uri Party said in an interview with Seoul Broadcasting System, “Roh should express regret for saying that.” Kang reproved, “She disregarded the value of humans.” Oh Young-sik, spokesperson of Kang, said, “President Roh’s supporters group went too far and should not be tolerated.”

Jung Jang-sun, a second-term representative, criticized, “Her remarks not only are an extreme idea but have also thrown the Uri Party, already in a bind, into an even worse situation. We should respond sternly and consider expelling her from the party.”

The Uri Party was concerned that Roh’s remarks might serve yet another disadvantage ahead of the upcoming local elections. Representative Jung Chung-rae said, “Her remark was unnecessary and inadequate,” but added, “It is not right to use the remark politically.”

The web page of the supporters’ group is at the center of controversy with some 600 postings.

Some said “criticism against Roh is too harsh,” but the majority lambasted Roh for her irresponsible postings. Some registered and withdrew from the web page just to write postings critical of Roh.

Lee Jae-kyo, a lawyer, posted an article on new-right.com on May 21, saying, “It is vulgar to say that the unfortunate event which happened to the opposition party leader was caused by hatred toward her father (former President Park Chung-hee).”

Roh has made remarks on the supporters group’s web page on controversial words of politicians without any reserve. She is said to be generous to those on her side and strict to those who are opposed to her.

When Representative Kim Hee-jung of the GNP disclosed reports from Cheong Wa Dae on March 29, she took issue with the price of a hanger worth 1.32 million won. The next day, Roh rather admonished Kim, saying, “It is not a hanger but a clothes chest. You should not exaggerate facts as if Cheong Wa Dae is extravagant.”

Meanwhile, when Jung Tae-in, a former economic aid of President Roh, fired a broadside shot at the participatory government, Roh supported him saying, “Aides who are brave enough to say what they have to say to the president are empowering the participatory government.”

Representative Lee Won-young of the Uri Party in charge of the Committee on Human Rights once created a stir when he said in a radio program on May 12, “The military was dispatched to maintain order in the May 18 democratization movement.” Two days later, Roh sided with Lee saying, “He did not directly say that, but he just answered yes to the question.” “Lee lacked interview skills.”

Roh from Busan is a poet and literary critic. She lost an election in the 17th general elections in Yeonje-gu, Busan, and served as secretary to the president for public information from September 2004 to July of last year. She was elected leader of the group loyal to the president in October of last year.

Kang-Myoung Chang tesomiom@donga.com ditto@donga.com